Real to Me (Hardcover)
May/June 2023 Kids Indie Next List
“Real to Me perfectly captures the joy and magic of friendship, the complicated feelings when friendship is lost, and the delight and wonder in discovering new friends. This book will stay in my heart forever, it is a modern classic!”
— Christine Bollow, Loyalty Bookstores, Washington, DC
Others tried to tell me that she wasn’t real, that she was just imaginary.
But what did they know? She was real to me.
Then one morning... she was gone.
What do you do when your imaginary friend goes away? Did you dream up the entire friendship? Maybe... But you miss her laugh, her comfort, and her silly mischief. It all feels so real... you couldn't have just imagined those things, right?
Lush illustrations pair with touching text in this gentle picture book that illuminates the sweetness of first friendship, the sadness when it's lost, and the beauty in discovering new friends are just around the corner.
Raissa Figueroa is the illustrator of several picture books, including We Wait for the Sun, which received a Coretta Scott King Honor, as well as four starred reviews. She also illustrated Oona, Princess Unlimited, Sophie and the Little Star, and The More the Merrier. She loves taking in the early morning light while out on walks with her dog, Ghost, and letting her mind meander off to fantastical new places. Visit her online at rizzyfig.com
"Figueroa’s lush, electric, pulsating hues and colors bring the worldbuilding to life....the robust storytelling throughout will prove the book’s greatest lure." —Kirkus Reviews
"An insightful and delightful take on the imaginary-friend concept, while highlighting what it means to have—and be—a real friend." —Booklist
"This sweet story gently conveys the inevitable pains of changing relationships." —School Library Journal
“To Lê’s simply told, heartfelt reflection on childhood bonds, Figueroa adds two rich, unexpected dimensions: a dramatic, luminous visual universe, and a narrative twist likely to tweak readers’ initial assumptions about the imaginary.” —Publishers Weekly
"[A] heartwarming story." —The Horn Book